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Group Finds Increase in Manufacture of Low-Cost Pistols


March 1995

A policy and data analysis organization reports that the number of pistols produced today is far greater than the number of revolvers, reversing the trend of twenty years ago.

The Violence Policy Center, a national educational foundation that conducts research on violence in America, found that 78 percent (2,002,194) of handguns produced in 1993 were pistols, while only 22 percent (562,292) of handguns were revolvers. In 1973, 72 percent (1,171,000) of handguns were revolvers and 28 percent (452,000) were pistols.

Total handgun production was up from 1,623,000 in 1973 to 2,564,4876 in 1993.

Lorcin Engineering Company, Inc., the manufacturer of a popular "saturday night special," was the leading producer of pistols in the U.S. in 1993, according to statistics from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.

Lorcin is one of six companies that make up the so-called "Ring of Fire" gun manufacturing group in Los Angeles, which makes most of the "saturday night specials" in the U.S. The number of .380 pistols manufactured by these companies increased more than 20 times between 1988 and 1992 according to the report.

"If current trends continue, the legacy of the 1990s will be a new generation of cheaper, more powerful pistols taking over the handgun market," said Josh Sugarmann, executive director of the Violence Policy Center.

[For more information about this report, contact the Violence Policy Center at 2000 P Street, NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20036, 202-822-8200.]